Yesterday - I had my first interview for ID Director position. They called me twenty minutes after thr interview to offer me the job. Last night I had a dinner with a CEO and he going to his Board next week to see if they will allow him to hire me.
Today- I meet with the first company to discuss the job package. I have an interview with a large company, the one I originally came here to meet.
Yeah, congratulations on your good news…but, wow - that’s an unbelievably optimistic assessment of the situation there!
How did you originally get these contacts/find out about these positions? And what does “ID Director” mean in terms of job description/responsibility/background and qualifications in HK? And, of course, what kind of financial offer (standard of living) is being made?
Every position I interviewed for either was not really posted on the web or if it was I did reply directly to it. The positions were all discovered through friends all over the world and previous contacts in Hong Kong. It really is all about relationships here. That said, I am not implying that that I am not qualified for the positions, I am. It is just, that in order to get someone to put up the money to move you halfway around the world, it helps to have friends who are vouching for you (I think this would be true anywhere).
I am not moving over on some luxurious expat package. Those have pretty much disappeared with Hong Kong trying to lower it’s 4.5% unemployment rate. That said, I am making much more than a local person would. It is because I am bringing Western Product Development practises and contacts that a local would not have. Since the companies I am talking to have their largest markets in the US, they want an internal person who can better understand these cultures (especially the hidden cultural things).
Design Director is responsible for being a manger and mentor to a team of Industrial and Graphic designers. The goal of this position is also to make the company more “design-centric” throughout the organization. This is a huge responsibility with my continued employment being based on doing this.
One thing I have learned - The big worry, in regards to moving westerners to Hong Kong, is that fact that when you hit the ground, you will be constantly courted by other companies to work for them. It is a huge risk for your initial employer. You need to know this so that you understand any reluctance you see in your job search process.
HK isn’t that great. I’m from there but I’m working in the US. North America is by far a better place to live. True China is hiring a lot of designers at this moment but those positions are all low paying. Unless you’re a transplant from the US hired on as a Designer Manager there. Also the business practices and office politics in China/HK are pretty cutthroat.
I agree with Sha-Tin, business practices and ethics are far different in China/HK. I currently work for a US company with a factory in Hong Kong and every once in a while we have people from HK come and work on site with us here in the US, those motherfuckers burn the midnight oil when they are here. They make us Americans look lazy, even when we try hard. I would not want to work the typical Hong Kong schedule. On the bright side, I hear you can buy a Rolex for $15 or three Polo shirts for $20 on the streets of Hong Kong, not to mention Pro/E or other CAD packages for the change you carry in your pocket.
People in Mainland China work even harder than HK folks. I’m from HK myself but now North American for the last 25 yrs. I’m glad I’m not living the lifestyle there. In general people in Asia work 6 days/week and work harder, more efficient, and better than north americans. Watch the movie Gung Ho. Its pretty silly movie but it does mimic reality to a certain extent. So instead of building cars efficently, those guys can build pro/E models, learn Alias, learn English with the same passion and fury.
The bottom line is, the North American Chinese aren’t as competitive/hardworking as those in Asia, let alone North American non-Chinese. This is obviously a carpet statement, but those guys in India and China aren’t lazy.
To add to my previous statement, those folks in Hong Kong put in long hours for us, we talk to them when we leave for home in the evenings and then again the following morning when we return to work. Sometimes we even get email responses during the day. And I know everyone over there shows up on Saturdays for at least half a day. The funny thing is the poor bastards are working for less than half of what us their American counterparts are making. I’d still love to get my hands on a Hong Kong Rolex or Coach leathergoods.
I don’t know what companies you guys are working at in the States, but overtime and weekend work sound pretty familiar to me! We’re not ALL that lazy!
And I wouldn’t call those long hours a “sweatshop” - it just happens in a field like design where you want to get it “right”, but “right” is a nearly unachievable goal…its usually not like a simple math equation where there is one answer and you’re done!
Timf: I’ve just sent a couple PMs…take a look when you get a moment. And thanks for the info.[/url]
I actually have not been in Walmart for 5 years. The company I will work for makes products for US, Europe and Asia, with moves into the Chinese market.
This is the same rant we had in the 90’s over Japan. It is getting old and ignorant. The Chinese middle class is building and soon the manufacturers will prefer to work with their own country instead of the US. We are pains in the butt. Smart US companies are figuring out how to get products into the Chinese market because it is worth it.